Gator softball team earns share of SEC title on Julia Cottrill’s walk-off homer
Florida will be seeded first in next week’s SEC tournament
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Gator sophomore Julia Cottrill crushed a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the No. 4 Florida softball team to a dramatic 6-5 win over Texas A&M in Sunday’s regular season finale at KSP Stadium. The win gives the Gators ( 40-8, 19-5 SEC) a share of their ninth SEC regular season title. Both Florida and Arkansas finished with 19-5 records in league play.
Florida trailed 4-0 and was held hitless until the fifth inning, when Hannah Adams delivered a two-run homer to center field, cutting the Florida deficit in half. The Gators continued to rally in the fifth, and tied the game 4-4 on Jamie Hoover’s two-run single.
The Aggies weren’t done, however, and re-gained the lead on a solo homer by Rylen Wiggins in the top of the sixth, her first of the season. The blast gave Texas A&M a 5-4 lead. Aside from the home run, Katie Chronister pitched well in relief of starter Natalie Lugo, allowing just one hit in three and a third innings.
Florida started its rally in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out double by Charla Echols, setting up Cottrill’s heroics. Cottrill’s blast was her fourth home run of the season and it landed on the roof of the bullpen in left field. It was Florida’s second walk-off homer of the series. Echols drilled a game-ending homer in Friday’s win.
Florida will be seeded first in next week’s SEC tournament in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and will play its first tournament game on Thursday.
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